May It Please The Court

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Quote of the Day - It's the season to scam, gate, bash and amokize every noun around Washington. - David Smith
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Jury Duty Phone Scam Strikes Close To Home

My friend the jury coordinator warns of this scam, apparently active in the area (reprinted with permission from Snopes):

"Here's a new twist scammers are using to commit identity theft: the jury duty scam.  Here's how it works:

The scammer calls claiming to work for the local court and claims you've failed to report for jury duty. He tells you that a warrant has been issued for your arrest.

The victim will often rightly claim they never received the jury duty notification. The scammer then asks the victim for confidential information for "verification" purposes.

Specifically, the scammer asks for the victim's Social Security number, birth date, and sometimes even for credit card numbers and other private information exactly what the scammer needs to commit identity theft.

So far, this jury duty scam has been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Washington state.

It's easy to see why this works. The victim is clearly caught off guard, and is understandably upset at the prospect of a warrant being issued for his or her arrest. So, the victim is much less likely to be vigilant about protecting their confidential information.

In reality, court workers will never call you to ask for social security numbers and other private information. In fact, most courts follow up via snail mail and rarely, if ever, call prospective jurors.

Action: Never give out your Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information when you receive a telephone call.

This jury duty scam is the latest in a series of identity theft scams where scammers use the phone to try to get people to reveal their Social Security number, credit card numbers or other personal confidential information.

It doesn't matter *why* they are calling all the reasons are just different variants of the same scam.

Protecting yourself is simple: Never give this info out when you receive a phone call."

Riverside County Superior Court issued a related warning last year, as did the Municipal Judicial Branch in Minnesota, and Congressman Tom Udall.  Be careful out there.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, April 17, 2006 at 22:27 Comments (0)


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